America behind bars / América detrás de las rejas

  Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí


Prior to the 1960s, prisons were harsh and dangerous places
reserved for the most hardcore criminals, who committed serious
and often violent offenses. It was hard-time - full of perpetual
dehumanization and brutalization, with inhumane living conditions.
Prisons were intentionally designed to be unpleasant places that
would break the will and dignity of all who were unfortunate enough
to experience them. They made little or no attempt to rehabilitate
the inmate or prepare him or her for re-entry into society. As
awareness of social injustice and progressive changes started to
reshape American society — as a result of heroic sacrifices of some
like George Jackson and those at Attica, who sacrificed their freedom and lives for
the cause of prison reform — the philosophy of criminal justice also began to change.

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